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Burn After Reading (2008) Poster

Trivia

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The Coen brothers said they wrote the screenplay for this film while writing the screenplay for No Country for Old Men (2007). They would usually alternate every other day for each script.
The Coen Brothers wrote the character Osborne Cox with John Malkovich in mind. Brad Pitt's character was also written with the actor in mind, inspired by a commercial for which he suffered a similar haircut and dye job. Indeed, the Coen Brothers noted at a Q&A session at the Venice Film Festival that all the leading characters were written for all the leading actors, with the exception of Tilda Swinton.
According to costume designer Mary Zophres, even cheap suits look good on Brad Pitt. Thus, for the scene where his character Chad wears a cheap suit, she had to tailor a suit with a purposefully bad and ill-fitting cut and a horrid-looking wool tie.
Tilda Swinton modeled her character's hairdo after Edna Krabappel's from The Simpsons (1989).
George Clooney's third film under the direction of the Coen brothers following O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and Intolerable Cruelty (2003). These three films have been dubbed the "trilogy of idiots" by the brothers.
The building that was turned into the Hardbodies gym in the film was found in Paramus, New Jersey. The crew did such a good job with it that locals came in to inquire about membership.
When Brad Pitt's character (Chad) first meets Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) he recommends himself as Mr. Black - the same name as Pitt's character from Meet Joe Black (1998).
Frances McDormand's seventh film under the direction of the Coen brothers following Blood Simple. (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), Fargo (1996) and The Man Who Wasn't There (2001). McDormand is Joel Coen's wife.
The poster for the film within the film, "Coming Up Daisy", states it is based on a book by Cormac McCarthy (who really wrote the book "No Country For Old Men", which the Coens' previous film was based on), and that it was directed by Sam Raimi (a friend and collaborator of the Coens').
Frances McDormand utters the phrase "For Pete's sake!" while in her car surrounded by CIA agents. She utters the same phrase in Fargo (1996) while interviewing William H. Macy's character.
George Clooney has stated he learns a lot from the Coen brothers for his career as a director and tries to have things running the same way they do on his films, even hiring their storyboard artist, J. Todd Anderson, on two of them.
It was George Clooney's idea that his character wear a gold chain, thinking it would make him look ordinary and a bit old-fashioned.
The film was mostly shot in and around New York because the Coen brothers wanted to stay near their families and because George Clooney was working on another project in the area.
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Frances McDormand's wig was inspired by Linda Tripp's hairstyle during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
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George Clooney's second film opposite Tilda Swinton following Michael Clayton (2007) the year before. While in this film they play lovers, in the other they are rivals.
On Palmer's office in one of the opening scenes of the film, you can see some pictures on the wall behind Palmer on the right side. One of the pictures is a photo of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State. Kissinger and The CIA acknowledged having played a key role in the coup led by General Pinochet that toppled the Marxist government of Salvador Allende in 1973, the democratically elected president of Chile at the time.
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Excluding the end credits' song, the F-word and its derivatives is used 62 times, mostly by Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) and Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), including 6 times in the first 2 minutes.
The opening film of the 2008 Venice Film Festival.
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When Harry goes to stay at Katie Cox's house after she broke up with Osbourne, he brings along a purple "ramp", a sex tool from the Liberator line. After they collide he leaves the house only taking the "ramp" away.
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The first Coen Brothers film not photographed by Roger Deakins since Miller's Crossing (1990). He was unavailable, having committed to shoot Revolutionary Road (2008).
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When Harry's wife is on the Seattle show, the show's host interrupts her, saying that "Dermot Mulrooney" is coming on after the commercial break. Dermot Mulroney is the actor that plays "Star of 'Coming Up Daisy'" in the actual film.
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J.K. Simmons (CIA Superior) never stands up throughout the film.
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The film "Coming Up Daisy" was titled "Tell Me That Again!" in the script.
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Richard Jenkins's third film under the direction of the Coen brothers following The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) and Intolerable Cruelty (2003).
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Tilda Swinton and John Malkovich who stars as a married couple in this, have both previously starred as a villain in a recent fantasy film. She in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and he in Eragon (2006).
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Director Trademark 

Joel Coen:  [The Films of Stanley Kubrick]  The sound emitted by the homing scanner from Bowman's space pod in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is heard in the opening titles. Harry Pfarrer's house number is 114, a nod to Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Linda Litzke refers to her "Mickey Mouse H.M.O." provided by Hardbodies, a nod to Full Metal Jacket (1987).

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Body Count: 2.
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